Bloody Birthday (1981)
Directed by Ed Hunt

Starring Josť Ferrer Lori Lethin Melinda Cordell Susan Strasberg

This obscure little horror film from the early 1980s would have been forgotten by now were it not for the fact that it's a pretty decent member of the "killer kids" subgenre that we all know and love.

This actually predated the original "Children of the Corn" and is arguably more entertaining than that movie. The story: During an eclipse three children are born in a nice suburban neighborhood. A decade later, the kids start killing classmates, parents, siblings in the days just prior to their 10th birthday.

The film's story is weak, despite the fact that it borrows from "Village of the Damned" and "The Bad Seed." It's never made clear why the kids are suddenly just killing everyone they encounter. One character does an astrological chart of the ringleader girl and concludes that, because there was an eclipse at the time of her birth, she must be a sociopath.

What the film lacks in story it makes up for with a high body count and plenty of gratuitous sex. "Downtown" Julie Brown from MTV has a role, and as her fans already know this was the movie where she took her clothes off. The film opens with a young couple fooling around in a cemetery. When they decide it would be safer to have sex in a grave so no one can see them, the boy is killed by a shovel and the girlfriend murdered with a jump rope.

This sets off a series of killings that has the town baffled. The second victim is even the ringleader girl's own policeman dad. Those that suspect the little tykes are considered paranoid.

Some of the most disturbing images in the film involve the evil children using guns to dispatch their victims. It's hard not to think of Littleton when watching this. There is little doubt that "Bloody Birthday" could not be made today.

All in all, the film is an entertaining piece of trash and, as obscure artifacts from the 1980s go, is worth a quick rental. But at the time of this writing the film had been out of print for many years. Look for it in the oldest of video stores.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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